The memory of it came when I inhaled the fumes from the car in front of me at the red light. I’m not sure what it was about that smell that delivered me to the time that I sat up in my bed holding you against my ear waiting to tell you what I feared. It may have been that I inhaled just as deeply on the other end of the phone that night and waited to breathe until I had your reaction.
I miss that person so much. Truth be told, I miss both of us actually. I was so full of belief and you were everything I ever hoped to find. I nervously twisted the ring on my fourth finger…on my right hand of course, bit my lower lip, took a breath and upon exhaling told you my fear.
I was scarred.
From head to toe.
My body a battlefield of disease, assault, accidents and self inflicted wounds. And as if you anticipated my story you matched my confession by sending me picture after picture of your own scars. I remember the tears streaming down my face at your acceptance and willingness to put me at ease. That is when the seed of love took hold and I thought you to be a man of great depth and character and marveled that I was lucky enough to hold your affection.
The memory passed this morning as quickly as the traffic light changed and thoughts settled on the current state of our relationship, or lack thereof. And tears came again but this time not from hope but from the lack of.
I refused to allow myself to dwell there because I know I could visit that rabbit hole for hours, days, weeks or months even. I have before with you, with the loss of you.
I felt the loss of you again this morning, but not the person you’ve become, the person on the other end of the phone that night. I felt the loss of the loving, caring, generous, quick-witted man that exposed his scars to me, the external and the internal scars. I thought if we could accept each other once why was it so hard to accept each other now?
I will always remember your face the first time we met, the smile that made me feel like I had found home. That’s what I decided while driving. That I could go into great detail and outline all of the things that transpired between us from that moment forward but who would it serve? We know what happened. We know the truth that hangs between us. And the pain, well there’s enough between us for two lifetimes.
I have forgiven you.
I can’t live in that space between what was and what will be. I made the canvas of my heart blank again so that I can experience without reservation. I imagine that my willingness to start fresh will leave me with new wounds and I only hope I can bleed as freely as I did when I was with you.
Every word I’ve ever written about believing in you is true. We all deserve to have one person who believes in the voice of our heart, even when it gets bruised and broken. Hope is the whisper that holds on and my hope holds fast to you because I believe.
Your heart will always have a home with me. I may have lost you again but it is not permanent. Our souls will meet again and will be just as it was the first time we set eyes on one another, a slow steady smile of recognition…and we’ll be home.